When you upgrade to vCenter Server, you can install vCenter Server on a new machine. One common reason for doing this is to run vCenter Server on a 64-bit machine.

Preparing the database for any type of upgrade always means creating a full backup. In addition, you have the following options:

After you create a full backup of the database, leave it where it is. This option makes sense if your database is remote from VirtualCenter, and you want it to remain remote after the upgrade to vCenter Server.

After you create a full backup of the database, restore it onto the machine on which you are installing vCenter Server. This option makes sense if the database is local to VirtualCenter and you want it to be local after the upgrade to vCenter Server.

For Microsoft SQL Server databases only, create a full backup of the database, detach the database, and attach it to the machine on which you are installing vCenter Server. This option makes sense if the database is local to VirtualCenter and you want it to be local after the upgrade to vCenter Server.

For Microsoft SQL Server databases, when you decide between the backup/restore option or the detach/attach option, consider the downtime required. For guidance on these options, consult your organization's database administrator.